The densely built-up Concord CityPlace neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto is finally getting two schools, a child care centre, and a community centre, as sod was turned at the site this morning by Mayor John Tory, other City Councillors, and by officials of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). A long time in the planning, the combined facility designed by ZAS Architects at the southwest corner of Fort York Boulevard and Brunel Court will be known as the Canoe Landing Centre after the park which will flow into it on its west side.

Canoe Landing Centre in Concord CityPlace, Toronto, designed by ZAS ArchitectsLooking east from the park to the Canoe Landing Centre, image courtesy of ZAS Architects

Formerly referred to as Block 31, the site at CityPlace has long remained a fenced-off pit while condo towers and Canoe Landing Park were built around it. Following a planning process that stumbled for several years when a TCHC residential tower which was also to be built on the site was cancelled, the City and the school boards eventually were able to move forward on a new plan. Today at the sod turning, Tory remarked "I am very proud of this partnership between the City, the TDSB and the TCDSB. This is a wonderful example of how we are building healthy communities by working together. This co-operation is exactly how we build a stronger, fairer city."

The new facility will include Bishop Macdonell Catholic and Jean Lumb Public Schools, each serving 550 children from kindergarten to Grade 8. Canoe Landing Child Care Centre will serve a total of 54 children, from infants to preschoolers. The Canoe Landing Community Centre will include a green roof, shared gym, and separate outdoor play areas for each age group. The whole complex has been planned with energy efficiency features incorporated throughout, including several section of roof-mounted solar panelling. 

Canoe Landing Centre in Concord CityPlace, Toronto, designed by ZAS ArchitectsLooking south over the active roof of the Canoe Landing Centre, image courtesy of ZAS Architects

The three-storey structure will be notable for its multi-planar green and active roof, opening up the top the project for more recreational and urban agriculture possibilities. Amongst the facilities included up top is a basketball court, a jogging track, and urban allotment gardens. Blending the building with the parkland to the west, The Planning Partnership has designed landscaping across the site and rooftop of the centre.

Canoe Landing Centre in Concord CityPlace, Toronto, designed by ZAS ArchitectsLooking west along Fort York Boulevard past the Canoe Landing Centre, image courtesy of ZAS Architects

Local Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy was among those on hand for the sod turning. "I'm excited that families living in higher density communities such as this one will have access to these much-needed services. Not only will this facility fit with the surrounding architecture but it will be seamlessly integrated with the very popular Canoe Landing Park to provide more public space for the community to enjoy."

Also speaking were TDSB Trustee Ausma Malik and TCDSB Trustee Jo-Ann Davis. Malik said “I am thrilled that schools, a community centre and child care are becoming a reality in this amazing, growing neighbourhood. This collaborative project sets an example for how together we enrich and meet the needs of a vibrant and high density community. The benefits will be felt now and for many generations to come.” Davis added "This is an exciting day for all of us as we see the long-term vision for the families come to life. With continued input from the entire community, this project makes it easier for families to set down roots and be part of the new, vibrant downtown core.” 

Canoe Landing Centre in Concord CityPlace, Toronto, designed by ZAS ArchitectsLooking west to the Canoe Landing Centre from Brunel Court, image courtesy of ZAS Architects

The centre is being funded through development levies. It is expected to open in September, 2019. You will find several more renderings and more details of the project in our dedicated database file, linked below. Want to get in on the conversation? Choose the associated forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.